The K-League Two is living up to pre-season predictions of it being almost too tight to call as only 3 pts separate 2nd and 6th spots, although few would have predicted that it would be runaway leaders Bucheon FC who would be sitting atop the pile. Bucheon have now won five in the row having come from two goals down at E-land today to end up winning 4-2 with Willian Popp among the goals as he now takes his goal scoring streak to five consecutive matches. That Bucheon have played all of those five games away from home as they await their new stadium opening makes it all the more incredible. Elsewhere on Saturday there was a share of the points at 2nd placed Busan as 3rd placed Ansan left the happier of the two teams. One of final matches of the 2017 calendar was the first playoff clash of the K-League Challenge as Asan hosted a struggling Seongnam and that is the match we go to for this round’s ‘Match of the Day’.
2018 K-League Two ~ Match Day 2 – ‘Match of the Day’
Seongnam FC vs Asan Mugunghwa
Seongnam have started 2018 a lot better than they started last season and are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions with their latest game being their 1-0 FA Cup 3rd round victory over Daejeon Citizen. That goal, which came courtesy of new signing Muralha, was their first home goal of the season with their previous two matches at Tancheon being rather uninspiring goalless draws. They made several changes for the visit of Daejeon with top goalscorer Eder (pictured left) being rested for most of the match. They seem to be a team that really finds their tempo and stride in the 2nd half and have looked pretty impressive after the break in all five games. That midweek clash saw a return to the starting lineup for the imposing figure of Marin Orsulic with the Croatian making his long awaited return from injury. It’s not all good news for The Magpies though as fan favourite Lee Ji Min limped off midway through the 2nd half with what looked a potentially bad knee injury.
Asan were fancied by many a K-League expert to run away with the title this year such were the strong additions to their squad over the close season but after a strong start they’ve lost and drawn their last two. Last time out in the league they let a 1-0 lead slip at home to Anyang in a match that, on paper, they should be winning every week. They did bounce back midweek however with the complete annihilation of lowly Yeoju Sejong FC in the FA Cup as they sent them packing with a 7-0 defeat ringing in their ears. As mentioned they boast a strong squad but it has been Jeonbuk’s Ko Mu Yeol (pictured right) who has been the standout so far. He followed up his debut goal against Ansan with another against Suwon FC and has been pretty much a thorn in the opposition’s side in the four games he’s featured. Much of Asan’s play goes through him and he is a player more than capable of exploiting and punishing weaknesses.
The teams have met a total of five times, all of which were last year, with Seongnam only having lost the once although that was in the playoffs. They won both their home ties 1-0 but completely failed to show up on a freezing November evening in Asan as they crashed out of the playoffs. The games played at Tancheon were both close affairs and even though Seongnam emerged the victors they could have gone either way. You would imagine that we’ll be in for yet another tight affair this weekend.
Prediction: Score Draw : Seongnam 1 Asan 1